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"I jump into a sand pit for a living"

Jonathan Edwards, World record triple-jumper

Joy, peace and hope

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15: 13

Three words jump out of this passage: joy, peace and hope.

Christian joy is quite different from happiness. We are happy when things go well. Joy does not depend on what is happening. The source of Christian joy is God, not circumstances. Our joy comes from the living presence of the living God and a certainty that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

Peace is something that everyone seeks. As humans we are prone to anxiety and worry – whether inner tensions or external ones. The only answer to anxiety is a conviction that God is present and in control, no matter what happens.

It is easy in the light of experience to despair of oneself. It is easy to despair of the world. It is easy to think that things are hopeless. William Barclay says that this passage reminds us that: “No man is hopeless as long as there is such a thing as the grace of Jesus Christ and no situation is hopeless as long as there is such a thing as the power of God”. That he is called The God of hope is in itself a great encouragement.

So whatever challenges you are facing in your personal or sporting life, remember that God is in control, that he is the God of hope. Therefore God can bring you through the challenges you are facing and give you joy, peace and hope.

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